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more on vitamin d

Mechanisms underlying the actions of vitamin D

Dr. Christine Gonzalez from Los Angeles, California, has written a thorough review of vitamin D.

Let's focus on the actions of vitamin D thought to contribute to disease prevention.

Vitamin D effects

    * Cancer
          o Decreases spread of cells (proliferation) and increases cell differentiation
          o Stops the growth of new blood vessels
          o Significant anti-inflammatory effects
          o Studies suggest a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of cancer, with the strongest evidence for colorectal cancer.
    * Heart disease
          o Evidence that the protective effect of vitamin D on the heart could be via the renin-angiotensin hormone system, through the suppression of inflammation, or directly on the cells of the heart and blood-vessel walls.
    * Fractures and falls
          o Vitamin D helps body absorb calcium.
          o Vitamin D receptors are located on the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are the first to respond in a fall.
          o It's theorized that vitamin D may increase muscle strength, thereby preventing falls.
    * Autoimmune diseases and influenza
          o Vitamin D has a role in regulating the immune system and a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
          o It's theorized that vitamin D deficiency could contribute to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.

The bottom line?

In the past few years, study after study has supported the importance of vitamin D in preventing and managing medical conditions, and the risks associated with inadequate blood levels.

Dr. Gonzalez concludes, "As the number of people with vitamin D deficiency continues to increase, the importance of this hormone in overall health and the prevention of chronic diseases is at the forefront of research.